Yesterday was J2 day at Vancon 2014! J2 day is always my favorite day, but this time around was even more special than usual, because some friends and I, with the help of quite a few other fans, had put together something special for the cast and crew as well as Jared and Jensen.
About six weeks ago, some friends and I decided we wanted to do something nice to commemorate the 200th ep and 10 seasons of Supernatural. We thought about sending a cake to the office, but decided that something permanent would make a better gift. We finally settled on shot glasses, and began contacting friends and fans who we thought would like to contribute.
We asked everyone to keep their donations quiet, so that the gift could be a surprise, and instead of a public announcement let the news spread by word of mouth. Within a few days, we'd raised a somewhat astonishing amount of money, and it just kept coming in. By the end of the first week, we had more than enough for our shot glasses, and decided to expand our gift to include Jared and Jensen. It didn't take long to discover that an engraved bottle of Johnny Walker Blue would fit into our budget--and would be a great tribute to the dearly departed Rufus Turner (still missed by many of us).
A very talented artist created a great design for us to use on the glasses, and it wasn't long before we were able to get the ball rolling. And while we were working on finding a company to create the glasses, and working out what we wanted engraved on the bottle of JWB, fans continued to hear about the project and donate. It wasn't long before we were able to afford a second bottle (one for each of the Js:), and not long after that we had enough for a gift for the writers as well. After that...well, the Supernatural fandom supports many charities, and we quickly decided that St. Jude's Hospital and The Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas would get any overflow.
In the end, fans donated approximately $1700 for this project. We broke it down like this:
~$500 for the shot glasses and shipping
~$550 for two engraved bottles of Johnny Walker Blue for Jared and Jensen
~$150 for 4 bottles of Canadian Club so that the crew could toast the 200th ep in their new shot glasses
~$100 to send a set of glasses and a bottle of Johnny Walker Black to the writers in LA
And finally, $400 for charity. We initially donated $100 to St. Jude's Hospital and $100 to the DSGD, and as fans continued to donate, decided to send any new funds to the DSGD since fandom is actively raising money to support Team Levi.
As Vancon got closer and closer, everything started coming together. The glasses arrived in Canada safe and sound, and there was a slight issue with the Johnny Walker Blue that was luckily worked out quickly. I compiled a list of all the wonderful fans who donated and made sure all their twitter handles were matched up so that a list could be included both with the glasses going to set and with each of the bottles of JWB.
And finally....Vancon. Before the con started, the four of us who helped plan the event who were attending (me, @kellsbellsTFW, @candygramme (Sue) and @ristispeaks) decided to wait until Saturday to approach Creation about giving the bottles of JWB to Jared and Jensen. We already knew how we were getting the shot glasses to the office, but we were hoping Creation would allow us to present the Js with their bottles during one of their panels so that everyone who contributed could see and we could possibly even ask fans who donated to stand and be acknowledged. Unfortunately, Creation no longer allows that sort of presentation. We quickly regrouped and Risti and I agreed to give up one each of our J2 photo ops so that we could all be together. Chris (Creation's photographer) had no problem with giving us a few moments at the end of the session, and we were all set except for the excruciatingly nervewracking wait.
When the time came for our final photo op, Risti and Sue each took a bottle and Kel took the two shot glasses. Somehow, I managed to speak coherently enough to tell the Jared and Jensen that in honor of the 200th ep and reaching 10 seasons of Supernatural, a large group of fans had gotten together to buy the crew a gift of 300 shot glasses (kel gave them the two we'd kept out for them) and Jared yelled NO WAY! FUCK OFF! for the first time. I got out that so many people donated that we had enough for a gift for them as well, and it sort of disintegrated into chaos for a bit. They were both very impressed and appreciative of the JWB (and Linda--they both remembered it was Rufus' favorite!). They especially liked the engraving: Jensen N Jared 10 YEARS OF SUPERNATURAL. (We'd originally planned on one bottle, and the engraving only allowed for 15 chars per line). After that settled a bit, I was able to tell them we'd also gotten a gift for the writers (NO WAY!), AND had $400 left to give to charity. (FUCK OFF!)
Things got a bit hectic again for a few moments after that. However, I did manage to tell both Jared and Jensen how much we all appreciate their hard work, and that Sam and Dean simply wouldn't be the same without them. That they made the characters who they were, and they are the reason we love Sam and Dean and Supernatural so much.
Both Jared and Jensen thanked us repeatedly, and told us how much the appreciated the effort we all put into doing this. I made a point to let them know before Chris took our picture that each bottle had a letter and a list of every fan who helped make this gift and the crew's gift possible. It was a wonderful experience to be able to tell them how much they mean not only to us but to all of fandom, and to let them know that so many people wanted to do something nice for them.
Thank you again to everyone who helped make this possible. We all appreciate so much that you were willing to donate to this project.
kelios, kellsbellsTFW, ristispeaks, candygramme, dmfny, setinreality, mais_fica, nottheribbons
http://kelios.livejournal.com/74065.html Letters to the crew and Jared and Jensen
http://kelios.livejournal.com/73745.html Pictures of the JWB and shot glasses.